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Singapore stocks: STI resumes Monday afternoon barely changed at 3.356.25

SINGAPORE shares entered the afternoon session barely moved after China's gross domestic product (GDP) data for the second quarter fell within expectations, a relief to market watchers.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) was trading at 3.356.25, down 1.09 points or 0.03 per cent, as at 1.05pm on Monday.

"Every time we are faced a major economic number it comes as a huge sigh of relief even when the print comes out as expected," Vanguard markets managing partner Stephen Innes said.

"The China GDP data was very much in line with consensus confirming the markets view that the economy continues to slow, and while GDP touched 27 years low in Q2, the on consensus print does lessen market fears that China's economy is headed for a hard landing," he added.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, markets in China, and Hong Kong were up. Meanwhile, Australia, Malaysia and South Korea were down. Japan was closed.

Shortly after the afternoon session commenced, volume on the Singapore bourse clocked in at 874.3 million securities traded and a total turnover of S$425.1 million.

Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 181 to 161. The benchmark index had 12 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red.

Thai Beverage, down 2.5 Singapore cents or 2.9 per cent lower to 84 cents, was the benchmark index's most traded stock with 20.0 million shares changing hands.

The food and beverage player's shares saw heavier-than-usual trading after news reports emerged that Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has cancelled the listing of its Asia-Pacific unit in Hong Kong, with market watchers saying that Ab InBev has priced the listing too high.

Investors have speculated in prior weeks that ThaiBev could be a potential partner of the AB InBev unit after it lists in Hong Kong.

The local banks returned from the weekend higher. DBS Group Holdings was S$0.20 or 0.8 per cent higher at S$25.89, OCBC Bank added S$0.04 or 0.4 per cent to S$11.55 and United Overseas Bank traded at S$26.64, up S$0.11 or 0.4 per cent.

In the session after posting its third quarter results, shares in Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes The Business Times, fell S$0.12 or 4.8 per cent to trade at S$2.37.

Singtel shares were also lower, easing S$0.02 or 0.6 per cent to trade at S$3.52.